The Kendall Building Update (now 616 Lofts)

In March of last year I wrote about the Kendall Building. It is located in the center of Grand Rapids, at the northeast corner of Fulton and Division. You can find the blog entry here.  

I had intended to post frequent updates about the building, but the construction area outside of the building was such a mess that it was hard to get near the place for quite a long time. I think my overall excitement about this project started to fade in September of last year when the sidewalks and park on this side of the street were literally gutted. For a while pedestrians had to walk out in the street to get around the mess.

Complaining aside, we now have a finished building that is really very beautiful. You’ll see from the photo in the first post that the civil war monument was actually moved to the center of the park, and all of the trees were replaced with benches and brick sidewalks.

Below are a few photos of the finished product as well as some comparisons of the Kendall Building’s transformation.

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My after work trip to SiTE:LAB – ArtPrize 2012

I just had the most surreal experience over at the old Public Museum where sitelab has set up shop for ArtPrize. This is a building I used to visit often in my childhood. My mom liked to take me there and I had the annual school trip. I don’t think I’ve been in here since I was about 10 years old, and it has been closed to the public for most of the time while the new public museum has been open. Not only was it so strange to see that most of the things I remember about that building are still there, most of it is totally untouched. It is like a time capsule from my memory brought right back into this physical world.

I was not the only one who was feeling this way, I overheard a lot of descriptive words about other peoples’ experience, “spooky, strange, weird…” I even heard a woman say, “I’m just a little freaked out right now.”

The way the artists in this venue worked with what was already existing here is what heightens the surreality of it all. I can’t quite decide if my childhood memories made this experience more or less crazy for me. The art here is really amazing and absolutely worth looking at. This is one of 5 venues nominated for the “Best Venue” award, and I am happy to say that I agree with that whole heartedly.

I left with over 150 photos. I was there for a little over an hour. I chose just a few to show here. You really have to see this place to believe it.

Alois Kronschlaeger’s work incorporates modern sculpture into existing painted nature dioramas that were already in the museum space.

This gives a better view of the types of spaces Kronschlaeger worked with for this piece. The space shown had a ramp that allows people to walk into the diarama.

Blane De St. Croix’s work hangs from the ceiling in the main part of the museum.

This better shows the combination of use of existing space with the addition of new work.

Me with a close up of one of the numerous taxidermy animals throughout the building.

Lily Cox-Richard’s work, Strike, combines a number of lightning rods with the museum space.

This work by Complex Movement was one of my favorites. It was a pleasant surprise tucked in the back of the museum.

This work by Filippo Tagliati was really interesting. It is a combination of photographs and video. I found the photos to be really interesting to look at.

This is a close up from the ‘Not Design’ space which featured a lot of letter press.

ArtPrize is approaching–A reflection on my projectph

My new project for ArtPrize 2011

Back in college, I remember doing a semester-long project on architecture of Chicago religious buildings. The end result was a delicate, handmade book full of tiny color photographs. I remember my professor describing them as “small jewels”. I had titled it, ‘Shapes of Faith’. The spirit of these buildings has always captured my attention, and I have found myself photographing them on and off throughout the years.

The photograph I am showing for ArtPrize is an extension of this project. I changed things up a bit. I went back to my preferred medium of black and white photography, and I changed the scale dramatically to a much larger image.

Printing this on acrylic and adding background lighting gives this image a special dimension. It mirrors the theme of stained glass windows that are featured in so many churches.

The foreground and the church itself are under construction. A symbol that religion is an ever evolving experience throughout peoples’ lives.

ArtPrize is a pretty magical time here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I encourage all of you to come visit. If you are in town between September 21 and October 9, stop by 19 LaGrave to see my work.